Monday, September 12, 2011

2011 Fantasy Football Week 1 Wrap-Up

So, it probably goes without saying that I am heartbroken. Devastating loss for my Cowboys. Which is another positive about fantasy football, because I successfully wrapped up all of my game this week. And by some stroke of luck I am currently the highest scorer in the Expert League by over 70 points, thanks largely in part to Drew Brees, Mike Tolbert, Kenny Britt and Steve Smith.
Fantasy Weekly Wrap-Ups are going to be our version of Monday Morning Quarterbacking looking at fantasy implications of some of the top performers, spouting off random things that amused us our made us think. If you’ve got something you want to share, add it to the comments. Advice time and rankings will be coming up mid-week, so please hold off on those, we’ve got plenty of time.

What I Learned

1) Elite outweighs matchups. At all positions. We all get into the problem where our top performer is facing a tough defense and we are forced to question their starting potential. Well, Week 1 has taught me that this is a no-no. Ray Rice had a huge game against the once-intimidating Pittsburgh Steelers, Miles Austin (though only sometimes matched with Revis) put up high receiving numbers and a score. If you have a star on your team, do not hesitate to start him.
2) The Eagles defense should scare fantasy owners. Sam Bradford, Steven Jackson and Danny Amendola go down against Philadelphia. We’ll see if this trend continues, but it’s looking like the Eagles will ruin offenses even more prolifically than the Giants did last year when they mangled every quarterback they faced.
3) Last year’s parity appears to be gone. With the exception of one or two games, it feels like NFL fans got a good idea of how this year is going to shape up already. Some teams proved elite, and other teams looked like garbage. Not a lot of teams are going to sliding under the radar in 2011.
4) I’m a bigger Steve Smith fan that I ever thought I was. Something good about seeing a player return from relative obscurity. I’m hoping it keeps going for him. Especially since I own him in a couple leagues. Here’s hoping that my pick for Comeback Player of the Year, Elvis Dumervil, can also return to his former glory.

Injury Gambling
How many games will each player listed actually play in the 2011 season?

Frank Gore (+/- 10 games): Jordan-over (12)     Andrew-over (13)
Matthew Stafford (+/- 10 games): Jordan-under (9)      Andrew-over (all)
Dez Bryant (+/- 12 games): Jordan-over (14)       Andrew-over (15)
Reggie Bush (+/- 10 games): Jordan-under (8)         Andrew-over (13)
Maurice Jones-Drew (+/- 12 games): Jordan-under (10)        Andrew-over (all)
Peyton Manning (+/- 5 games): Jordan-under (0)        Andrew-under (0)
Matt Hasselbeck (+/- 10 games): Jordan-over (13)         Andrew-over (11)
Donovan McNabb (+/- 12 games): Jordan-over (all season)         Andrew-under (8)
Ryan Grant (+/- 12 games): Jordan-under (11)        Andrew-over (all)
Arian Foster (+/- 14 games): Jordan-under (10)          Andrew-Even
Antonio Gates (+/- 11 games): Jordan-over-ish (12 games)          Andrew-over (14)
Chris Johnson (+/- 13 games): Jordan-over (16 games)         Andrew-over (15)
Austin Collie (+/- 12 games): Jordan-under (11)          Andrew-under (10)
Felix Jones (+/- 11 games): Jordan-OVER (15)          Andrew-over (13)
Beanie Wells (+/- 10 games): Jordan-Who? Under. (6)       Andrew-over (14)
Terrell Owens (+/- 9 games): Jordan-over (10)         Andrew-under (5)
Randy Moss (+/- 8 games): Jordan- under (7)         Andrew-under (0)
Tiki Barber (+/- 1 games): Jordan-under (0)           Andrew-under (0)

Moving on Up

Kenny Britt: He’s likely owned in all of your leagues, but if you snagged him in the draft. Congratulations. If he can stay healthy and away from issues off the field, Britt is primed to become a near-elite receiver in 2011. Matt Hasselbeck is still respectable at quarterback, and Chris Johnson will take a lot of pressure off of him. Don’t hesitate to keep him in your starting lineup.

Cadillac Williams: This Rams’ backup got most of the work following Steven Jackson’s injury. We have to assume it is a strained quad and that he will be day-to-day at best for a while. If Bradford is alright to play, then Caddy could return as a player at running back for a while with sleeper potential. Add Mike Sims-Walker to the list of St. Louis players to consider if you’re looking for help, as he will be filling in for Danny Amendola, who is out for the season.

Cam Newton: Deep leagues only. If you are in a deep league, or one starting two quarterbacks, Newton is worth the pickup. He played against a pretty terrible defense, and his receivers were wide open, but he showed that he can get things done through the air and on the ground. Newton will make a serviceable bye week filler.

Early Doucet: I’ll bite on this one. I picked the wrong WR2 for the Cardinals. Doucet blew up for over 100 yards. On just three receptions, he isn’t exactly anything to be confident in, but he could gain some sleeper potential on your bench. I’d like to see another strong week out of him before any big endorsements, but opposite Larry Fitzgerald doesn’t hurt anything.

Robert Meachum/Devery Henderson: One of these guys is likely floating in free agency in your league, and now is the time to pick him up. With Lance Moore’s status uncertain and Marques Colston out for at least four weeks, you know that the New Orleans high-powered offense will get them the ball. From the same game... Jordy Nelson will make a great pickup in the few leagues where he is available. He showed that he is not slowing down from that Super Bowl performance.

Don’t Be the Guy Who...

1) Drops good players who had a bad week for bad players who had a good one.
2) Takes injuries lightly.
3) Quits because you got blown out in week one.
4) Doesn’t learn from Week 1 mistakes.
5) Plays a Seattle Seahawk.

Buy or Sell

Cam Newton
Newton put up 24 completions for 422 yards, two passing scores, one rushing touchdown and only one interception. Can he carry this on throughout the season?

Andrew: I kinda buy it. At least more than I was in the preseason. Granted, Newton put up these number in a game where he was trailing, against an abysmal Arizona defense, but no one thought that he would fare this well. I will not be picking him up on fantasy teams any time soon, and doubt he will come close to these numbers. But this game made him the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year and got a lot of people to jump from the hating bandwagon over to the Newton for Prez bandwagon.

Jordan: Sell. He'll have an okay year, sure. No doubt about it. But if anyone tries to pretend that Newton is NFL ready and that he is just going to rip through defenses, then I will punch them in the face. He'll have struggles. Probably lots of them. He'll also look good and perhaps even great at times. But have you seen the panthers? Ugh.

Fred Davis, TE, Redskins
Davis came out of nowhere as one of Rex Grossman’s favorite targets with 5 receptions for 105 yards. Is Davis a legitimate tight end option this year?

Andrew: Sell. Cooley was a non-factor in this game, and I don’t see it staying this way when he is healthy. Also, the Giants are hurting on defense with injuries. Against a better put-together defense, Davis will not recreate this.

Jordan: Does he play for Washington? Sell.

Green Bay Packers Offense
296 passing yards, 103 rushing yards, 6 touchdowns, 0 turnovers: So much for the Super Bowl hangover. Is this a sign for the rest of their season?

Andrew: Buy. New Orleans defense is no slouch. The Packers looked like a machine. Easily the best NFC performance. With the run game a vast improvement over last year, Green Bay is a Super Bowl front runner.

Jordan: Buy. Really. They won't be perfect all the time, but this will probably be a consistent theme for the rest of the season, provided the frozen tundra doesn't debilitate them to the extent that it did last year.

NFL Kick Return Game
In just 14 games, three kickoffs have been returned for touchdowns, despite the kickoff point being moved up to the 35 yard line. There were 68 touchbacks on 140 kickoffs. Meaning 4.4% of returned kicks went all the way. Are kickoff return yards and touchdowns still alive and well after the rule change?

Andrew: Sell. There is just no way. This is a fluke. Returners are taking the ball out from 5-9 yards deep in the end zone. Kickoff teams just need to learn to adjust to this. I credit poor coverage more than good returning.

Jordan: Hedge. Returners could always do this shit, they just didn't have the balls to do it. That said, this is week 1. Week Numbero Uno is always a little sloppy. Give it a couple more weeks, and things will settle down to their normal pedestrian pace.

Pittsburgh Steelers' Loss
The Steelers looked miserable losing 35-7 against the Baltimore Ravens, turning the ball over 7 times. Will it continue?

Andrew: Sell. It’s hard to think that anyone can reproduce this. But having a blueprint made in Week 1 is going to be a serious problem. There is a new sheriff in the AFC North, though. Steelers will not win the division.

Jordan: Sell. They looked sloppy. They still have a super bowl hangover. They had an abrieviated off-season. But Big Ben and his merry men will be fine. They are loaded and will start playing as such. Tomlin is a great coach too, btw.

Scott Chandler, TE, Bills
The out of nowhere man of the day, Chandler got 63 yards and 5 receptions, two of them going to touchdowns. Good enough to add to your fantasy roster?

Andrew: I’m going to buy this one. Tight end is deep this year. I’ve been saying it since the preseason started. And this guy was overlooked by everyone. Granted, Kansas City was a pretty cake defense to play against, but on an offense like the Bills, with a quarterback like Fitzpatrick, a tight end like this could thrive. I would keep him on my bench and play him by matchup. He will be inconsistent from game to game, but he could easily put up a year much like Marcedes Lewis did with 12 strictly red zone touchdowns.

Jordan: Really? This is a real question? He plays for the bills. Sell. Hard.


  1. Chris Johnson, Vincent Jackson, Kendricks and Manningham killed me. Yet somehow I'm still up 53 points going against Brady, Welker, Ocho and Lloyd tonight. I'm cautiously optimistic due to Brady's relative struggles in Miami..but we'll see. I think I can afford to be patient and not look back in regret for selecting CJ over Rice thus far...

  2. hey need some advice. In my league QB's get .5 per completion and -.5 per incompletion. in my FLEX spot. i can play (QB,RB.WR.TE) , I had sam bradford in my FLEX this week who had an abyssmal day with 6 points.

    MY league is also 1 point per reception, would you play someone from my bench in Sam Bradfords spot next week?
    I could play Cedric Benson, or Ben Tate (if Foster is out).
    I am also thinking of dropping Zach Miller from my bench and picking up Cadillac Williams. Is that a good move?

    I am also kinda weak at WR , - i have Reggie Wayne, Manningham, OchoCinco, and johnny knox on the bench. Dexter mcluster qualifies as a WR, would it be worth it to pick up him and start him over like ochocino? (depending on how ocho does tonight) ?

    Thanks, sorry for all the questions

  3. Just an unfortunate week. No touchdowns will do that for you. Team is still solid, jsut not a good week 1. Good to see you up that much. They have a pretty nice lineup though. Better cross your fingers for a very low score.

  4. I'm definitely glad the guy I played in a 2 QB league left Cam Newton on the bench. I'm reserving any thoughts of him until I see how he fares against the Packers, Bears, Saints and Falcons in the next 5 weeks. Still a good option going forward in 2 QB leagues for sure. As a side note, if the Panthers continue throwing like they did, this seriously downgrades MJD and J. Stewart. I took a big hit with MJD yesterday.

    I won my game in my main league despite getting only 2 TDs from my lineup. All of my players had high targets and receptions/yards which allowed me to still get decent scores. My advice would be to be the guy that keeps up on targets as well as receptions. It definitely helps to spot the trends for WR, especially in a PPR league. It's also a great tie-breaker for RB decisions. The TDs will come but receptions/yards will keep you in games and more often than not, put you over the top.

    Now I need to try and pick up Cadillac since S-Jax has been ruled out for next week. I hope everyone goes for Tate and I can sneak him on waivers. F'n quad injuries. Looks like I'm for another fun year as a S-Jax owner...

  5. That's the plan. And it's only week one. For the time being I'm confident I have enough explosion between my WRs and RBs to offset the consistently low ceiling Freeman will give me at QB.

  6. I had Sam Bradford and Jay Cutler Week 1....but wait I drafted Cam Newton with the last pick of the draft!?!?!?!?! 3 Quaterbacks!?!??! WTF is going on here? Hey he was there and I know they don't say be a fan and play fantasy but I just had too. (War Eagle) Bradford had the Eagles..... Sit em! Cutler had the falcons but I just hate that dude! My father and law and all of the fantasy league hated on me for putting an early week article that I was going to Start CAM CAM CAN!

    Who's laughing now mofos!

  7. I heard the guy replacing amendola was not Sims-Walker but the rookie Greg Salas how true is this? Also, Andre Roberts is supposed to be No. 2 in Arizona not Doucet, and they both had 2 receptions, Doucet was open on the 2nd one and he made it a score but I dont know if that is enough to take Andre's job.

  8. Im sorry Doucet had one more grab, so 3 in total, I still dont know if that is enough... what do you guys think?

  9. Ugh. Miserable play from ALL my QBs! Bradford and Big Ben both tanked for me. Luckily, I made up for it with outstanding play from my WRs and RBs and won both my games with ease (which surprised the hell out of me in one league). Because of my QB troubles (P. Manning and Bradford), my next week's opponent decided to diss me by offering me S Jax and Freeman for Ray Rice. Now I want to win my next game extra badly! Gonna need a good QB and TE p/u to do it, as he was the scoring leader this week. We'll talk in a couple of days.

    As bad as you feel about your Cowboys, I can say that I feel as bad or worse about my Broncos. The defense has not gotten better, the running game has not gotten better, Orton and our WRs have gotten much, much worse (except Decker), and we already have a slew of significant injuries. We lost to a poor team, that just happens to be our biggest rivals, on MNF. Even worse, we let that fat, disgusting slob Janikowski tie the NFL record that was last achieved by our beloved all-time scoring leader, Jason Elam. At the beginning of the 2nd half, they showed him on TV with his sausage finger shoved in his gaping maw as he smeared chewing tobacco all over his teeth, lips, and face. Looked like the Stay Puft marshmallow man's white trash inbred cousin. Disgraceful. I wanted to vomit.

    Thanks for convincing me to stay with Felix Jones! Will be looking forward to your advice column this week.

  10. Glad to be back on this site!

    I got utterly raped this week. Mendenhall, BenJarvus, Marshawn Lynch did absolutely nothing. Marcedes got injured. Viniateri shanked what would normally be easy for him at 37yds. I have Tate on my roster but didn't risk playing him.

    Think I'll be picking up Devery Henderson and Cadillac Williams for short-term help, new kicker, new DEF (had NE). Also Jermaine Gresham- thoughts?

  11. What are your thoughts on Kicker strategy? I drafted Gostkowski b/c I thought of the amount of pts NE would score and then maybe a FG or 2. But now it seems I should pick a crap team and add/drop for Akers, Scobee or even Gould. 8 points is fine, but if I could double that then, well...Curious how you go about picking your kicker - which one's did you grab in your drafts?

  12. If you needed to pick up a WR or TE off the waiver wire to start in your WR/TE flex position, who would you pick up this week: Andre Roberts, Doucet, Scott Chandler or Brandon Gibson?


  13. Arizona has a good chance against the WAS backfield, Doucet looks like he could be a good go-to guy for Kolb. Gibson could do well to against the Giants, but taht depends on Bradford's health. I'd like to see another positive week from Chandler until I say that he is a starter.

    Right now, I'd say Gibson.

  14. I tend to just go for a strong team. A team that you know will make trips to the redzone consistently. I have Gost high, same with Matt Bryant, Neil Rackers, Mason Crosby, John Kasay, etc. Its the strategy I have always used. When it gets later in the year, you are going to want kickers whose games are in the south or who will play in a dome due to weather issues.

    Kicker is always a toss up though. So Red Zone is my way of going for it.

  15. Probably just a fluke week with some of your guys. Dont get too concerned yet. There are a few TEs likely on Waivers that you can look at Gresham would be nice. Kendricks too. Aaron Hernandez maybe. I like Henderson and Williams, but that will only be for a few weeks. Kicker, go for a guy who will get a lot of trips to the redzone. Almost the same strategy as SDS.

    My position rankings will be out tonight, so check on that for a defense and other players to watch in Week 2.

  16. I agree about Denver. Rough game to watch. I like Orton, but he is going to have to pick it up or the fans will kill him. I love watching the 63 yard field goal, just wish it had been someone else.

    We'll get you more Ws this week. Cant imagine Big Ben will go down like that again against SEA.

  17. I'd really like to wait another week before I make more predictions about any of these guys. Roberts and Doucet remains a toss-up, but Doucet had to win a lot of trust that game. And who prevails in STL doesnt matter much if Bradford isnt on the field.

  18. I'd have said you were crazy too.

    Great call though. Lucky call. But impressive. Way to stick with your gut. That is how you win fantasy football.

  19. We all saw this coming for Jackson though. He was an injury timebomb. STL is fortunate they went out and got backups for him.

    Congrats on the win. Good advice for PPR leagues. Thanks! Where do you get your "targets" stat?

  20. Dont put to much stock into Week 1. Its just a single performance. I think Miller for Caddy is a good idea, and he could fill your Flex spot.

    I'd take a look at your league and figure out which position is getting the most points and aim to fill your FLEX with that position. I'd have to imagine that QBs score highest. Tate could get numbers even with Foster plays this week, but its risky. Benson against Denver is intriguing after McFadden had such a great night against them, but again, its risky.

  21. Yes, but I was hoping to get a few weeks of S-Jax injury free. Oh well. That's why I drafted RB depth. I hate carrying handcuffs and didn't want to burn my prime waiver position, but with quad injuries and S-Jax it could be 1 game or 1 month. You just never know. Thankfully nobody else placed a claim on him so I've got my backup.

    I get my targets stats here: Yahoo also produces a weekly article but I'm very wary of their stats. I've caught them messing up more than once. I check a couple of sources but KFFL's site has an easy to sort targets stat. It definitely helps to know how much a QB is really looking in a WRs or RBs direction.

  22. Should I keep Malcolm Floyd or pick up Dexter McCluster? My league gets 1 point for every 15 return yards.

  23. Should I drop Ingram and pick up Ben Tate?

  24. I love your blog and being that I am also a Cowboys fan I share your pain over Sunday's loss..

    I am new to fantasy football and am the only female in my league that was well established before I joined. I'm trying to hang with the big boys. I am in a PPR league and I need to get more points. I am going to avoid the newbie mistake of dropping good players over a bad game (i.e. Vincent Jackson), but I figure I can make some changes with my bench and some starters.

    1. I have Sims-Walker and Breaston on my bench was thinking about dropping one and/or both for the following: Doucet, Brandon Gibson, Deji Karim or Ted Ginn Jr. Currently my running backs are Ryan Grant, Ahmad Bradshaw and Ryan Mathews. I am starting Bradshaw and Mathews and Grant is in my flex. I'm not that thrilled with my RB's yet, so I was thinking I need to try to get some more help in that position.

    2. I have Jordy Nelson on my bench . Would you start him over Ryan Grant in the flex position?

  25. That's So RavensSeptember 14, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    Start Beanie or Reggie Bush this week?

    Kolb or Eli?

    Percy, Burleson, or Bess?


  26. I started these guys last week and lost by 10, standard league with big game/play bonuses eg. ( 2 or 3 pt bonus for 300+ or 400+ yds passing, 30+ rec or rushing for TD) none of my WRs had a big game and my K provided 0 points, so I'm just looking for a good K, D/ST matchup and best RB combo I can start.

    Josh Freeman, QB
    Pierre Thomas, RB
    Montario Hardesty, RB
    Dez Bryant, WR/RB Flex
    Andre Johnson, WR
    Greg Jennings, WR
    Antonio Gates, TE
    Cardinals, D/ST
    Ryan Succop, K

    Steve Johnson, WR
    Daniel Thomas, RB
    Sam Bradford, QB
    Brandon Pettigrew, TE
    Jerome Harrison, RB
    Roy Helu, RB
    Saints, D/ST
    I'm 3rd in line for Waivers. For K I'm looking to replace Ryan Succop with 1st Kasay, 2nd Gould, or 3rd Akers from waivers. I am uncertain if I want to start Cardinals, Saints or Skins D (waivers) and I am considering picking up other guys on waivers.

    It looks like the best waiver RBs are:
    Delone Carter, IND
    Deji Karim, JAC
    Dexter McCluster, KC
    Jacquizz Rogers, ATL

    Early Doucet and Devery Henderson are also on waivers

    I'm willing to drop my extra D and any benched RBs but don't want to go too crazy over 1 week. I am even considering picking up a WR and trying to trade them for a RB. I've been shopping around the league and the best trade offer I got was Steven Jackson and Marques Colton for Dez Bryant. This would work ok for me because Stevie Johnson could fill in for Dez and hopefully those guys would be back by the time bye weeks start. This is my first fantasy football league and waivers are due tonight. Any tips are appreciated.

  27. Wow, sell Chandler b/c he plays for the Bills? You just lost what little credibility you may have had. That will be a respectable offense this year. But besides that, simply ignoring a player based on your bias against the team is foolish.

  28. Thanks, I've tried KFFL. They know their stuff, didnt realize they had that though. Could be a good article idea in the next few weeks to organize some of their stats.

    I know what you mean about the Yahoo rankings. I think that ESPN is the same way. Its half of the reason that I started this website, because they are all so inconsistent and unreliable.

  29. I'm still wary of the return yards. Last week was a fluke. Had to be. With the shortened off-season, teams had a lot less time to work on the coverage, it'll die down. I like Malcolm Floyd, SD will get their act together, and Floyd will see some balls his way soon enough. If McCluster starts getting runs/passes his way along with return yardage, then it might be time to look for a switch.

  30. If Ingram is your weakest, then I guess you can do that. I would like to keep Ingram around as he will progress this season. Tate is a good play if Foster is out. He'll continue to see carries if Foster plays, but it will be limited. Looking for short term value, go Tate, want more security when bye weeks come, I'd stay with Ingram.

  31. 1) Of the four guys you listed in WR free agency, Gibson looks like the best sleeper. Doucet could be good in the future, but that is going to be very inconsistent. He has Fitzgerald on the other side who will have the best games, and he will be fighting for receptions with WR2 on the Cardinals, Andre Roberts. Doucet might have just been a week 1 fluke, so watch out for that. Karim is a good pick if MJD goes down, beyond that, he is just a backup. Ginn only got good points because of kick returns, so avoid him. Gibson is going to get more looks because Amendola got injured, so he would be a good add. I like him more than SimsWalker, I think.
    Your running backs definitely need a little work. I want Grant to turn out alright, but his backup is closing in on becoming the starter, Bradshaw is solid. Mathews is losing steam to Mike Tolbert. Another good RB would be great for you.

    2) I would definitely start Nelson over Grant. Actually, this week. I would move Grant to running back in place of Mathews and keep Nelson in the Flex.

    Glad you like the site. Just posted position rankings if youre looking to do a little studying. Good luck! Any more questions, feel free to ask them. And if you have any friends playing in fantasy leagues (not your league of course) We'd love for you to tell them about GHL!

  32. I like Beanie. He had a good week, and could very well continue to do so. Bush is going against a tougher defense.

    Eli over Kolb, but its a coin toss really. Both will have interesting stats this year. Keep an eye on Hakeem Nicks. If he plays, go Eli, if not then think about Kolb starting for you.

    Gotta go Harvin, he's the best receiver they have and the return threat could steal you some extra points.

  33. Thank you so much for the info! I will mos def check out your newest post! Keep the info flowing!

  34. Absolutely! Youre welcome